“Look Mum, they have chickens like us!……Oh….AND a cassowary!!” exclaimed my daughter. Sure enough the brown banded chick stood out amongst the other free-roaming chooks on Barron Falls Estate. Could a cassowary chick seriously get that confused? And more to the point where was his daddy???
But yes, my daughter had correctly spotted a cassowary chick. Apparently it was one of many that wander the property that our Kuranda Rainforest and Orchard Tour was about to take place on. It was completely obvious to all of us that this was the ideal habitat for cassowaries to thrive in – our journey up to Barron Falls Estate on Skyrail had meant that we’d enjoyed a bird’s eye view of the area.
Hop off at Skyrail’s Barron Falls Station, and your hosts Perry and Nathaly can meet you and walk you over to where their family friendly ATV tour starts, as they are officially ‘neighbours’. Their property is made up of 165-acres of dense tropical rainforest set at the top of the mountain range near Kuranda and teetering on the edge of the iconic Barron Falls.
‘WiWi’, our host’s nickname for the cassowary chick, had appeared to be abandoned by its own family and had found temporary refuge with their chooks, coming and going from the rainforest as it pleased. “It gets the odd fallen fruit when we do our rainforest tour” Perry commented “so it may tag along with us when we set off on our ATV’s.”
Personally I was more interested in how we were all going to go driving ATV’s through the dense rainforest. Thankfully due to a quick beginner’s lesson, the bikes’ obvious stability and power and the fact you couldn’t get them to go faster than 20km/h we became very confident, very quickly.
It wasn’t long before we all felt we could match Perry’s competency but funnily enough our 9 yr old daughter still choose to ride shotgun with him rather than any of us.
And sure enough ‘WiWi’ joined us on our cruise around the property, getting some serious exercise and feeding from a variety of fruits and berries that we saw scattered on the rainforest floor.
Whilst ‘WiWi’ ran alongside looking ever so dinosaur like, we drove our ATV’s along muddy trails, up and down old logging tracks, through creek crossings and past trees of various sizes and descriptions.
It wasn’t just about powering through mud puddles and splashing through flowing creeks (although this was a major highlight) – we learnt about the working orchard that Barron Falls Estate runs and got to sample a few varieties of tropical fruit they had growing on their property.
The mangosteens and sugar bananas got the BIG thumbs up from the kids whilst ‘WiWi’ and I got slightly gorged on the over-ripe jackfruits.
As we ventured deeper into the rainforest we glimpsed some of the pioneering past of the region. There were remnants of logging equipment, evidence of old ‘settlement’ camps and Perry kept us informed about what trees where targeted by the loggers and why.
It was actually quite surprising to see how many big trees were still around when you learnt how important the industry was for the region’s foundation.
The years before were highlighted too. We learnt about the local aboriginal tribes and the importance of the rainforest to their own survival.
As quickly as Perry pointed out the berries and rainforest fruits that the indigenous people would have utilised ‘WiWi’ managed to scoff them though, putting them to another use.
Eventually we found ourselves back at the homestead and saying goodbye to ‘WiWi’ and his adopted family of chickens, and I have to admit that everything that followed soon after seemed a bit dull in comparison to our ‘thundering’ good time tour around this rainforest property…
Good Things to Know:
Have you checked out the Kuranda Rainforest yet? Would you be keen to explore it on an ATV and would you love to see a cassowary in the wild?
We received our tour complimentary BUT all views, opinions and photos in this article are %100 my own.
Click HERE if you would like to Book >> Kuranda Rainforest and Orchard Tour.
ARE you an FNQ local?? If so there’s an opportunity to WIN a family pass to do the ATV tour with Barron Falls Estate – All you need to do is join/go to the FNQ Family Fun Facebook Group for more details on how to WIN!!!! Click HERE (Competition finishes Sunday 20/03/16).